Five Most Dangerous Places in the World to Be a Christian*

1. North Korea – For the 12th consecutive year, this is the place where Christian persecution is most extreme. The God-like worship of the leader, Kim Jong-Un, and his predecessors leaves no room for any other religion, and Christians face unimaginable pressure in every sphere of life. Forced to meet only in secret, they dare not share their faith even with their families, for fear of imprisonment in a labor camp. Anyone discovered engaging in secret religious activity may be subject to arrest, disappearance, torture, even public execution.  50,000-70,000 Christians imprisoned in labor camps.

2. Somalia – Pressure is increasing on the tiny Christian community in this Muslim-majority country. Islamic leaders and government officials publicly reinforce that there is no room for Christians, and there is a strong drive to purge Christianity from Somalia. The militant Islamist group, al-Shabaab, targets Christians and local communities. Ten believers are reported to have been killed by members of al-Shabaab in 2013. There is a high level of fear and mistrust among believers, who have to hide their faith for fear of betrayal. The country has a population of 10.3 million with a reported population of Christians less than one thousand.

3. Syria – As the civil conflict inside Syria becomes more and more severe, targeted violence against Christians has escalated. The Syrian opposition is increasingly ‘Islamizing’, and Christians are becoming more vulnerable in all spheres of life. Many Christians were reported to have been abducted, physically harmed or killed, and many churches damaged or destroyed. On October 21st, Islamist militias invaded the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad, killing at least 45 people, and injuring many more.

4. Iraq – There was an increase in attacks and threats against Christians in 2013. Islamist terrorist groups, influenced by the conflict in Syria, are increasing in number. One of their aims is to empty the country of Christians, and this situation is aggravated by the government’s total authority. According to a local source, every two or three days a Christian is killed, kidnapped or abused. As a minority, Christians are an easy target for kidnappers.

5. Afghanistan – The situation in the country remains unstable, and Islamic extremist groups continue to gain power. Christianity is still considered a ‘Western’ religion, and is seen as hostile to Afghan culture, society and Islam. Those who leave Islam are treated as apostates, and face huge pressures from family, society and local authorities. In September 2013, an Afghan MP called for the execution of converts to Christianity. There is no public church, even for ex-pats. Christian converts keep their faith secret, since any connection with Christianity is dangerous. The country has a population of 31 million but only a few thousand Christians.

Do not forget to keep the persecuted church in prayer.

*worldwatchlist.us

Coming to Christ: Islamic Death Sentence

As you read this words, people across the Muslim world are coming to Christ.  At the same time many of them know full well that converting to Christianity means committing the capital offense of apostasy against Islamic law. They have basically signed their death certificate.

From that point forward any Muslim has the Sharia-given right to kill them if they do not convert back to Islam.

There are countless stories online of children being disowned by their families and running away from home to avoid honor killing. In many of these situations their family will make up a story that their child has died in an accident in order to avoid the stigma of having a Christian person in their midst, and to actually avoid violence against themselves.

Jesus was well aware of this tragic situation when he walked the Earth two thousand years ago and spoke very clearly about it. He predicted these things will occur:

 “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”” Luke 12:51-53

All this because of faith in Him.

In the last month I have been made aware of online videos with our brothers in Christ being beheaded in Syria because they are Christian. I have seen church bombings and thousands of Christians killed in Egypt and other African and Asian countries because of Christ.

As you read this, our brothers and sisters are dying for their faith in Christ.

Suffering for faith in Christ to the point of martyrdom is a special way to glorify God.  Apostle Peter considers such suffering as a gracious thing.  It is a special kind of grace that some have been given the opportunity to suffer for Christ:

“…when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:20-21

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” 1 Peter 4:16

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19

To suffer for the glory of God. Such is the fate of Christians in Asia and Africa.

Keep them in prayer so they will be unwavering in their faith.